Sunday, September 15, 2013

Running Out

When I started thinking about writing this post, the title of this one was “Running out of Options.” But as it started to come together, I realized that I’m running out of so much more than options. I’m running out of time. I’m running out of steam. I’m running out of heart to break. And I’m running out of hope.

We learned in the spring that I’d be unable to carry another child. While it was a big blow to absorb, we did what we’d done so many times before. We pulled ourselves up and tried to figure out what our other options were. We knew how much we wanted a child to raise, and with that as the goal, we went to the next way to get it.

And so we began the process for surrogacy. My simply amazing sister had offered to be our surrogate a while ago, and we were in a position where we needed to take her up on that offer. It’s not an easy, simple, fast, or cheap process. It involved multiple medical tests and clearances for her, the sign off of a psychologist for all of us, and the involvement of 2 separate attorneys drawing up legal contracts to formalize the agreement. It wasn’t easy, but it gave us so much hope that we’d finally get the good news we’d been waiting for.

Friday the 13th was to be that good news day. We’d done the transfer 2 weeks prior and waited. But good news isn’t exactly our thing, and so we received the bad news on Friday. The test was negative. To say that we were devastated again is a complete understatement.

Each time, we’re left to wonder again why this keeps happening to us. God knows we’re trying everything in our power to have another child. We’ve gone well beyond what most people have to do. We’ve saved and spent more money than we care to acknowledge and endured more physical and emotional pain than most people have in a lifetime. And here we are, still with our empty and painfully quiet house.

As we’ve spent the weekend absorbing the bad news and discussing our options, it becomes painfully obvious that we are running out of ways to add to our family. We have to wonder how many more rounds of bad news we can take before our hearts actually stop from being broken 1 too many times. We wonder what lengths we’ll actually need to go to for having another child, or whether it’s just not in the cards for us, and we’re chasing a dream that will never be.

As it stands, none of our options are easy, without significant costs, and none are assuring of a happy outcome. We can try surrogacy again with my sister, but that feels like an incredibly selfish choice. The process was not easy on her, and knowing that I’ve given her a glimpse of my world of going through so much for nothing at the end is a feeling I just can’t shake. We can try surrogacy with an agency, but that costs somewhere in the range of $50,000. We can move to adoption, which will run us somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000 or more, and if you’ve done any searching on the subject, you’d learn there is no shortage of demand to adopt a baby, and very little supply. There is foster to adopt, which I truly believe is a wonderful idea, but would simply not work for us. The rules of the system are that a member of the biological family has up to 3 years to get their act together and can take a child back. I’ve already lost enough children, I can’t raise a child for 3 years and risk having them taken away. I know enough to say that I would never survive that.

And that’s it. That’s all we have left. Each is expensive, difficult, time consuming, and comes with great risk. But that’s all we have. And you can see how the options are starting to run very thin.

There is a quote that I keep handy that I look at often. “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” I see so many quotes that are along the same lines. Never give up. Stay positive and try again. Keep the faith. But lately, I’ve been forced to ask myself, when is the better choice to stop? To not try again tomorrow. To let go of the hope because it’s never going to happen. Where are the pithy quotes when that is the dilemma?

Let me be clear that I don’t want to give up. I’m not a quitter. But I have to acknowledge that there aren’t many more options for us. And even if we continue with any of the options above, we face the very real possibility that we will never have a child to raise.  At the end of the day, I’m 41, I can’t carry a child, and I’m not made of money. And I’m completely exhausted every minute of every day.

I’m running out of everything. And ultimately, I have only 2 choices. I can stop and try to let go of the most important and desperately wanted dream I’ve ever had. Or I can keep trying until the options are gone, still facing the real possibility that I’ll have to let go of the dream anyway.